There is nothing in the world worse than to see the life of a young person cut short. Almost one year ago, a Washington woman drove herself, her spouse, their six adopted children, and their vehicle off of a 100-foot cliff in Mendocino County.
According to a report by CBS News, investigators with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, and forensic pathologist, Dr. Greg Pizarro, testified at a coroner’s inquest that lasted two days into why the tragic accident that killed the family happened.
According to testimony given at the inquest, Jennifer Hart had blood alcohol levels of .102 at the time she plunged the family vehicle into the ocean, killing their entire family on Mach 26, 2018.
Pizarro also testified that all six children and Jennifer’s spouse, Sarah had high doses of Benadryl in their systems. Though it was not the actual cause of her death, Sarah Hart’s levels of the over-the-counter drug were near toxic levels.
Mendocino County Sheriff Deputy Robert Julian testified that there was a lot of debris and the damage was made worse because the SUV carrying the Hart family flipped onto its roof and to the rocks below. Julian said during the inquest that both women were still inside the car as it was being towed back up the cliffs.
Authorities were able to identify Sarah Hart by her Minnesota driver’s license but were unable to immediately identify Jennifer Hart due to the blunt force trauma injuries that she suffered in the crash.
In spite of weeks of intense searching in the hopes of finding at least one survivor in the horrific crash, eventually, the bodies of all six children were recovered.
Records show that Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to a domestic assault after a complaint was filed against her in a “spanking incident” involving one of the couple’s children. One of their neighbors in Woodland, Washington had reported the couple, indicating that the children were at times denied food as punishment.
So far, authorities have not determined whether the crash was a murder-suicide, accidental or undetermined.